We’re traveling, I set this up to post while we’re away.
I will catch up on all your blogs when I get home. Meanwhile, don’t worry if you don’t see much here for a bit.
And I hope the images of flowers from my garden make you happy.
From our visit to NYC a couple of years ago, across the street from the World Trade Center museum.
I liked how contemporary and turn of the century exist together in this image. It captures how an urban environment is a melding pot of diverse cultures and styles.
Katie here. I know you can hardly stand waiting to hear all about my adventure, but I had to wait until mama trimmed my paws. You know how hard it is to type when your nails are too long.
Plus, we got home from our trip way last Friday but this is the first time I’ve been able to kick mama off her laptop long enough for me to write to all of you.
Sometimes mama forgets I’m the princess.
But other times, like last week, she does things just for me, like taking me camping in my tent but way up north instead of in my own backyard. I just love doing that. This time we went up into the thumb of Michigan, and camped at a Michigan State Park called Port Crescent.
Mama reserved our site way back in January, so that we could have a spot right on Saginaw Bay. It was awesome. OK, yes when we first arrived on Tuesday afternoon it was a trifle windy. So windy that mama wasn’t sure she’d be able to get the tent up by herself. I told her I wasn’t about to help her, as a princess doesn’t do manual labor.
She got it up but was afraid to try to put up the rain fly. She said that would be like handling a giant kite in a tornado.
Eventually the wind died down a little, plus it looked like rain, so mama gave it a shot and, using the wind to her advantage, got it up and over the tent. Turns out this made the wind try to lift the whole tent up into the air.
Mama got out the heavy duty stakes and pounded them deep into the ground.
Then she and I got inside the tent to help hold it down. The wind was amazing, making the tent walls shudder and the waves, only feet away, roar. Then on top of the wind and waves the rain began to pour down. Rain on a tent can be pretty relaxing, but not when it’s coming down sideways!
It was a pretty noisy night, but I slept through most of it. Mama said she stayed awake shivering and finally put on more socks and long underwear and her winter coat and a hat and mittens so that she could get some sleep around 1 a.m.
Guess mama isn’t built for cold. I thought it was the perfect sleeping temperature.
The next morning the wind had died down, the bay was calm when we ventured out about 5:30. I don’t know why mama was so grumpy, it was beautiful! She should thank me for getting her up to enjoy it.
We walked down to a little beach and looked at the water for a bit, then mama said after breakfast we were going to go visit Grindstone City. Well, I don’t know what that is, but I’m always up for an adventure.
Mama said it was a tiny town up on the very tip of Michigan’s thumb that used to make grindstones, and lots of the old grindstones are still up there scattered around. She’d been there twice before, once with my dad about 10 years ago, and once with her dad so many years ago she can’t count.
She was confident she knew where it was.
So off we went. First up we visited the marina at Port Austin, the town just up the road. It was really pretty, which, from a princess point of view isn’t always a good thing, cause mama makes me pose in front of a bunch of stuff. All the time. Boring mama!
Anyway, while we were there the fog blew in, and it blew in really fast! By the time we left you could hardly see anything. Mama, however, noticed a few barns as we drove further north looking for Grindstone City. She was so busy looking at the barns that she sort of lost track of where she was.
At one point she stopped to look at a map. I don’t know why she had to do that. I mean, I asked her, how hard can it be to find the furthest northern point of a thumb? It’s like right there on her hand, right? (Joke mama, joke!)
Mama said she thought we had gone too far in the fog and needed to turn around. So she was looking for a place to do that when she saw a sign for this.
It’s Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse, built in 1847. In 1849 Catherine Shook became Michigan’s first female lighthouse keeper when her husband drowned. The current structure was built in 1857. It began to rain as we were exploring, so we didn’t stay long, but it was fun to walk around and imagine what it must have been like back in the day. The fog and rain made our imagination even more vivid!
Still, we hadn’t found Grindstone City! Mama referred to her map again and set off confidently. And this time she was right!
We pulled into town and stopped at one of only a few commercial buildings. Signs said the best ice cream in the world was served there, but it wasn’t open.
I wasn’t disappointed cause I never get ice cream anyway. Mama said it was OK because she was too cold and wet for a frozen treat.
So we headed off to look for a particular peninsula where she knew there used to be some abandoned grindstones. Plus when she was there with daddy years ago she had thought that I would like to explore it someday. And there, just around another corner was the place she remembered!
We pulled up and she noted that there were lots and lots of families of Canadian geese, complete with dozens of babies. She told me maybe we wouldn’t be walking out to the end of the point after all, as geese can be pretty aggressive when they’ve got the babies around. But as soon as she got me out of the car they all slid noisily into the water.
Guess they know not to get in the face of a princess.
So off we went. Mama liked this one tree across the way and spent a lot of time trying to get a shot of it. There were tons of swallows flying and she started laughing cause she couldn’t get a shot of the tree without a bird flying into the image.
I was too busy sniffing the ground, looking for grindstones to bother with birds. And way out at the end of the point I found one!
We spent a long time out there, mama found all sorts of things to photograph. And I liked being out in the wind and the fog and the rain. Kind of made my fur curly, but I figure it’s a look. Right?
Anyway, by the time we got back to camp I needed to take a long nap. Unfortunately our campsite had a whole bunch of wood chips that liked to stick to my fur. It didn’t bother me, but mama spent a lot of time sweeping out the tent and muttering.
Wednesday night mama slept in all her clothes including hat and mittens again. She actually googled for nearby hotels but there weren’t any. I, on the other hand, slept great.
Thursday morning I managed to let mama sleep until about 6. It was a beautiful morning and she was happy to see what she thought might be sun touching the tops of the trees. And soon we had evidence that finally we were going to have a nice warm sunny day. Perfect for camping even though it was our last day there.
We went south a little bit and explored the Albert E Sleeper state park. Mama hadn’t wanted to stay there because their campground is on the other side of the main road. Mama says it’s more fun to be right on the water.
I reminded her it probably would have been warmer at night to be in the woods instead of on the water, but she said the sun on the water Thursday was worth all those nasty nights of shivering.
No one was at the Sleeper state park at all. There were lots of trees and it was pretty…
..but there were also lots of signs like this. Which we ignored since no one was there.
We walked down to the beach and I got my picture sort of on it…without really touching their precious sand. I figured I’d rather just hang out at my campsite and watch the water instead of worrying about being busted breaking the no dog rule.
So that’s what we did.
And Thursday night there was the prettiest sunset. The people in the next site brought their kayaks and went out to enjoy the sunset. Of course mama took their picture ( a few dozen pictures actually) and she sent them the best shots yesterday.
She took a few of me too.
And then it was Friday morning and time for us to head home. I was sad, it was going to be another beautiful day and I didn’t want to leave. But mama said camping in the state parks on the weekends is just not fun, too many people, too much noise, and besides, she was sort of missing her bed at home.
I didn’t understand that exactly, cause I was sleeping in my own bed. Mama brought it with us, per my demand. Doesn’t matter to me where it is as long as mama is nearby.
Anyway mama packed up Friday morning, and I supervised. Then we took the long way home and mama took pictures of a few more barns.
We made it home in time for dinner, and then mama unpacked the car and did the laundry and put stuff away. I took a nap.
I’m ready for us to go again real soon, but mama says she might need to take a little break. She says it’s nice to sleep without putting on four layers of clothes, and huddle under three blankets. She also enjoys sleeping without sand and wood chips in her bed.
I don’t know why she looks at me when she says that.
So that’s the story of my adventure. We had a lot of fun, that last day of sunshine sort of eclipsed all the rain and wind and fog and cold. Almost. I hope our next adventure is a little bit warmer, but not too warm. You know how a sheltie princess enjoys being cool.
Mama will just have to suck it up.
Trent hosts a weekly smile blog where he invites people to share something each week that made them smile, then link to his blog so that he can send out a recap on Mondays.
That alone makes me smile.
But this week there are plenty of things I smiled about and it’s hard to choose just one to share. For example, my tree peonies bloomed. Their flowers only last for a day or two and if you’re not quick you’ll miss them all together.
Katie and I were quick this year.
And as you know Katie and I went north for a few days to camp along the shores of Saginaw Bay, on the west side of Michigan’s thumb.
Lots to smile about there.
And this morning I made music with many of my Clarkston Community Band members at the opening of our local Farmers’ Market.
We sat out in a parking lot under the hot sun and played for three hours. It was a blast. I’m pretty sure the top of my feet are sunburned even though I put unscreen on, but at least that will be proof we’ve finally moved into summer arsound here. Another reason to smile!
Katie says she wants to tell you all about our camping trip, so you’ll have to wait just a little bit for that. She’s a slow typist lately. She blames me because I haven’t trimmed her feet in awhile and the extra long fur tends to obscure the keyboard.
Oh! And on our drive up there and back I got to see a lot of barns! You know how that makes me smile!
So let me count. The flowers in the garden, the trip up north, camping, barns, music…it’s just too much to number! What have you smiled about this week? Write a blog and link it to Trent’s and we’ll all be able to smile together.
A bit of a flower I used to have in my garden. It got pulled accidently one spring when I had help weeding the garden. I need to find one at a nursery and replant. I miss it’s little smiling face.
Paw during nap.
And even if you know all that, well, it’s possible that you have never heard of the Dequindre Cut.
I hadn’t either, until someone who worked in my department talked about it a few years ago. It sounded intriguing, and for several years it’s been on my list of things to investigate “when I had the time.”
Well, it turns out I needed to make the time.
This past January, instead of making a resolution I put together a list of “Interesting, Stupendous and Fun Things” to do. It sounded more fun than resolutions, and so far it has been!
In late January I was able to check the first item, making a winter visit to a lighthouse in northern Michigan, off the list.
And I’m definitely training (slowly) to do the 10 mile Crim race in August.
Plus I’m keeping pace to read 50 books by the end of the year.
And you know I’m working on my photography skills with the new Nikon.
But I want to tell you about this past weekend when I had a really really fun time walking and photographing the Dequindre Cut in downtown Detroit. It’s an old railroad bed that has been turned into a bike and walking path.
And the best part?
The best part is that the developers left much of the original graffiti on the bridge walls!
A friend and I went down to explore it and were very impressed by how wonderful it was. The walk goes from the Detroit River Walk all the way north about a mile and a half to the Eastern Farmers Market.
And wouldn’t you know, we walked it, unknowingly, on Flower Day weekend, when the Eastern Market is flooded with vendors and people all focused on getting their flowers and plants for spring planting!
We started down by the river, and when we came out at the other end I started to recognize that we were near the market. And then we saw people hauling flats of annuals, and wagons full of larger plants and I knew we just had to walk over there and see it.
It was only a couple more blocks, and it was so much fun to watch all the activity. Plus there are lots of painted buildings there too!
We didn’t buy any plants because we were parked a mile and a half away! But we did buy some raspberries and bananas from a vendor because by then we were starving!
We scarfed those down on our walk back to the car.
All in all it was a very good day. We saw some really cool art, and some beautiful flowers. And you can’t beat Flower Day at the Eastern Market for people watching.
I’d go again and probably will, maybe combine it with a trip out to Belle Isle in the Detroit River.
If you like, you can come along! It’s guaranteed to make you smile!
Most of my photography is nature related. Plus Katie, of course. Not things that generally lend themselves to circles and especially not things that lend themselves to squares.
Still…I filed this challenge in the back of my head and pretty much forgot about it. Until I was walking Katie on the neighbor’s property this week and she was sniffing around the back of their old chicken coop.
And as I turned to call her I saw it.
The round kiddy pool propped up against the shed, with the square nesting boxes leaning there next to it.
Made me laugh out loud.
And then Saturday a friend and I were eating lunch at a restaurant and I noticed the big round lampshade against the grid of the black ceiling.
But the black squares didn’t show up well in my phone camera shot. And as I was putting the phone away, explaining to my friend why I was taking a picture of the ceiling, she said…
…”don’t you see it? Look at that other lampshade right next to the big white one.” And there were the squares.
So this week it’s a two-fer. And a lesson learned; if you just keep your mind and eyes open you’re likely to see the most unlikely things.